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“Surya” means sun; “Bhedan” means to pierce.
This technique stimulates the Surya Nadi (sun nerve), or Pingala Nadi, the hot, digestive, destructive, male energy. This technique is for those people who require extra heat in their system. This heat helps to dry up mucus and the Kapha Dosha, colds, coughs etc.
Surya Bhedan also helps dull or over emotional minds to be stimulated again. It is also useful for stimulating digestion, fuelling the body’s natural digestive fire, Agni; and increasing the minds perception, intelligence, and determination. It should not often be practised by those who are hot, angry, have heat related problems, or high blood pressure.
The hand must be held in the pinch-grip position (as per Anulom Vilom.)
Breath is always inhaled through the right nostril and exhaled through the left for this Pranayama.
First, the left nostril is blocked by the ring and little finger, and then inhalation is performed through the right nostril; this stimulates the Surya Nadi, giving heat to the system. After a full, slow, steady inhalation, the right nostril is blocked with the thumb; and the left nostril is unblocked. The exhalation through the left nostril then should be up to twice as long as the inhalation e.g. if you inhale and count to 10, try to exhale for a count of 15-20. This is one round of Surya Bhedan.
As you are practising your technique, visualise a bright orange sun at the third eye, and keep your focus there. Visualise the air you inhale and exhale as the same colour as your sun.
Perform this initially 10-15 times. With practise and confidence, you can begin to slowly retain the breath in between inhalation and exhalation e.g. 5 sec. – inhalation, 5 sec. – retention (keeping the mind on the sun in the third eye), 10 sec. - exhalation.